The Town of Clayton is a State of Delaware municipality situated mostly within Kent County, with some parts of its incorporated area within New Castle County. With recent annexations, the Town is approximately 2 miles by 1 ½ miles in size. A larger unincorporated area south of Townsend, west of Smyrna and north of Hartly, Delaware is also referred to as Clayton, but is not served by the municipality.
The 2000 Census reported 1,279 persons in 528 households.
The climate in Clayton reflects that of a Mid-Atlantic coastal state, with warm summers and mild winters. Temperatures average 34°F in January and 77°F in July. Rainfall averages 44” per year.
For a century from the 1850’s through the 1950’s, Clayton served as a rail transportation hub on the Delmarva Peninsula. Agricultural commodities, such as peaches, were the predominant freight in the early years. Coal and commodity chemicals are the predominant freight today.
Employers & Transportation
Clayton is primarily a residential community. A couple of manufacturers and several commercial enterprises call Clayton their home. The State of Delaware, with its capitol just 12 minutes away, is the largest employer in the area. Many Clayton residents commute to Dover, Newark, and Wilmington, Delaware where there are many opportunities in industry, healthcare, and consumer services. The Dover Air Force Base is an additional major employer in both the government and private sectors.
In 2002, the last section of a limited access toll highway known as Delaware Route 1 was completed. This highway improved transportation both to Delaware’s resort beaches and to metropolitan areas from Kent County. Residents of both Wilmington, Delaware and Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have relocated to the Clayton area as a result.
Residents within the Town of Clayton are provided services including:
- Public Safety
- Building Inspections
Emergency service by the Clayton Police Department is supplemented by the Clayton Volunteer Fire Company and the David C. Harrison American Legion Ambulance Service.
Those living within a mile of the Clayton Post Office must pick up their mail at the post office, according to USPS regulations regarding rural communities. A post office box is provided at no charge.
Additional utility services are provided by:
- Chesapeake Utilities (natural gas)
- Verizon (telephone)
- Comcast (cable television)
Social services are provided by the State of Delaware and area non-profit institutions. Bayhealth Medical Center (Dover) and Christiana Care (Newark) have hospitals and health care centers in the area.
Primary and secondary education is provided by the State of Delaware through the Smyrna School District. Additional public and private opportunities exist, as well.
Post-secondary education is available through the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College, Wesley College, and Wilmington University.